Visible to the public Security Implications of Blockchain Cloud with Analysis of Block Withholding Attack

TitleSecurity Implications of Blockchain Cloud with Analysis of Block Withholding Attack
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsTosh, D. K., Shetty, S., Liang, X., Kamhoua, C. A., Kwiat, K. A., Njilla, L.
Conference Name2017 17th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Cluster, Cloud and Grid Computing (CCGRID)
Date Publishedmay
ISBN Number978-1-5090-6611-7
Keywordsblock mining, block withholding, block withholding attack, blockchain, blockchain cloud, blockchain security, blockchain security and vulnerability, BWH attack, cloud computing, cloud computing services, composability, compositionality, Computational modeling, cryptography, data integrity, data mining, data provenance, Distributed databases, distributed ledger, Metrics, Peer-to-peer computing, pool mining, pool reward mechanisms, power grid system, power grid vulnerability analysis, proof-of-work, pubcrawl, resilience, Resiliency, security of data

The blockchain technology has emerged as an attractive solution to address performance and security issues in distributed systems. Blockchain's public and distributed peer-to-peer ledger capability benefits cloud computing services which require functions such as, assured data provenance, auditing, management of digital assets, and distributed consensus. Blockchain's underlying consensus mechanism allows to build a tamper-proof environment, where transactions on any digital assets are verified by set of authentic participants or miners. With use of strong cryptographic methods, blocks of transactions are chained together to enable immutability on the records. However, achieving consensus demands computational power from the miners in exchange of handsome reward. Therefore, greedy miners always try to exploit the system by augmenting their mining power. In this paper, we first discuss blockchain's capability in providing assured data provenance in cloud and present vulnerabilities in blockchain cloud. We model the block withholding (BWH) attack in a blockchain cloud considering distinct pool reward mechanisms. BWH attack provides rogue miner ample resources in the blockchain cloud for disrupting honest miners' mining efforts, which was verified through simulations.

Citation Keytosh_security_2017